Tesco Store Goes Without Cashiers
Tesco has opened one of its Express convenience
stores in England but with one significant difference. The store in Kingsley,
Northampton is the first of its kind to run a test with five checkouts and
no cashiers. All checkouts in the store are self-serve with one attendant on
hand to assist shoppers who may have some trouble checking-out themselves.
As a Daily Mail piece points out, there
is concern among some that, should entirely self-checkout stores work, thousands
of retail workers could find themselves out of jobs.
Tesco says it has not received any negative
feedback about the new store. A company spokesperson told the Mail, “‘Customers
like the fact there are always five checkouts available. Before you could
have four manned checkouts but only one person working the till. It’s a lot
quicker but some people have never used them before so a member of staff
is there to assist. If needs be there can be five members of staff assisting
A spokesperson for Wal-Mart’s Asda division,
told the Mail, “Hell would
probably freeze over before we had a store with no customer interaction at
all on the checkouts. Many of our customers shop with us because they recognize
Bill on checkout 10 and will go to the same person every week. You get to
have a bit of a chat and some human interaction and that’s very important
for a lot of people.”
Richard Dodd of the British Retail Consortium
said, “In the far distant future who knows what technology will make possible?
We could well see the end of staffed checkouts forever. Customers are interested
in how quickly they can pay for their goods and get out and retailers are
constantly focused on improving that.”
Tesco has stressed that the store is a test
and it does not have any immediate plans to roll out the concept to its other
stores in the U.K.
Questions: Have manned checkouts become a competitive liability in
today’s market? Will we eventually see an end to manned checkouts? What
companies in the U.S. do you think would be the most likely candidates
to go this route?
- Are the days of the checkout worker numbered?
Tesco pioneers first ever self-service only shop – The